Chad Vongmongkol
Wellington, Colorado

When did you first learn about Funko?
I first learned of Funko in late 2012/early 2013. I was working in Denver and would go to Barnes & Noble and Hot Topic during my lunch break. My first real “hauls" came from those stores and included The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory Pops! I visited so often, when that Barnes closed they gave me all their Funko display shippers! This is also when I started making my first friendships through collecting Funko, mostly with store employees.

Why are you a Funatic?
I have never had this much passion, energy and love for a company and their products in my entire life. Funko has created something so special; it did not take me very long to realize I wanted to be a part of the fun! That desire quickly spread to the rest of our family covering three generations! Seeing how much my grandkids enjoy collecting really warms my heart. I love that Funko has brought us even closer as a family and that I have been able to meet so many other fun-loving Funatics that have now become my #FunkoFamily! I also love that Funko has so much interaction with and appreciation for Funatics!

What are some of your favorite fandoms?
Can my favorite fandom be Funko? Seriously though, I have a few but I have a special place in my heart for Game of Thrones. I read the books in the ‘90s as they released and watched the show one episode at a time ‘til the end. So, when I realized Funko made Game of Thrones "the hunt" began. I have tried to stay complete with Game of Thrones but have yet to find all the latest exclusives most recently released. In addition to that I collect The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Pop! Asia, Pop! Rocks, Hanna-Barbara and anything else that catches my eye or takes me back to the ‘70s and ‘80s (which is a lot). Lately, I have also started collecting anything Fantastik Plastik; I really love the originality of the designs!

What do you love about pop culture?
My love for pop culture runs deep and originates from my childhood. As a kid, these fictional places—be it toys, books, television or movies—were a way for me to unplug from real life and enter fantasy worlds that were magical. I had a big imagination and could easily picture myself right in the middle of the action. Whatever your jam, it's nothing but smiles when you are knee deep in it and this is why pop culture means so much to so many. It's fun and fills you with good feelings. To this day, I still have most of my childhood right here with me. It includes Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, M.A.S.K (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand), WWF, Transformers and Hot Wheels in addition to a ridiculous amount of Cracked and Mad Magazine, all of which still make me smile.

How do you display your collection?
I wish I could display everything out of box but right now it's about 30% out of box and 70% in box. Everything out of box is behind glass except for a few I don't have boxes for.

What are you currently watching or listening to?
The Funko Funkast was the first podcast I ever listened to. Since then, I have started listening to a few more such as The Four Dorksmen, Secondary Heroes, Geek Together and The STS Guys podcast. Currently, I am watching The Boys after Brian's recommendation on the Funkast.

What's your favorite Funko memory?
I have had so many but my favorite happened not too long ago! Recently I tweeted a picture of my granddaughter Kynlee and her Funko collection that she is so proud of. The tweet and picture was retweeted by Funko and she got to read kind messages to and about her from hundreds of people. If this wasn't already enough, the marketing team at Funko reached out and sent her a special prize pack that included a Social Media Freddy and Toy of the Year Freddy. Seeing how happy and excited she was that day was definitely my favorite Funko moment!

What inspired you to start photographing your collection and sharing it on Instagram?
I took my first #FunkoPhotography shot March 20, 2015. The same day I created an IG account dedicated to my love for Funko and never looked back. I guess you could say I was inspired by a drab office environment. It all started when I decided to make my cubicle at work a little more "fun" and added the black and white Daryl Dixon Pop! to my monitor. A few weeks later, I pulled out some OG Masters of the Universe, my He-Man Pop! and let my imagination run wild again like it had decades before.

What advice do you have for other Funatics interested in photographing and sharing their collection online?
I am still learning about photography but here a few simple things that would have been helpful for me:

  • Try to have a few "subjects" to photograph at any given time. You never know when you might find that perfect spot(s). Make note of potential locations you see and think about what Pop! would look good or be appropriate.
  • Know your equipment; some cameras are obviously better than others but some also take photos differently on different setting in different environments. Learn what all those adjustment settings mean on your camera if you want to make the most out of your shot.
  • Keep an eye on the calendar and the weather! It's always fun to take a pic of Batman on Batman Day or Freddy on June 29! It's not as much fun trying to get a colorful shot on a dreary day.
  • Experiment with different angles and distances with shooting. Use your imagination when shooting inside. You would be surprised what household items can be made into a good backdrop!
  • Take pics of your collection often whether you decide to share it on IG or not! It is fun to share but it's critical if your collection is insured!
  • Most importantly, have fun!!

How did you choose your Instagram handle?
I wanted to show love for both Funko and my home state of Colorado yet sound official. I have always enjoyed the hunt so it seemed fitting considering our elevation.

Do you collect any Funko lines besides Pop!?
Yes, I have some of every product line Funko has made except for some of the early stuff. I really go after non-Pop! items if they fall into my favorite lines I mentioned earlier. But after Pops! my next largest line is Mystery Minis!

What was the first piece in your Funko collection?
I have actually had the answer to this question wrong for many years. I thought it was Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory or Daryl from The Walking Dead but I was reminded that months before I started collecting I found Alan and Baby Carlos at a gift shop at Mandalay Bay in Vegas mid-2012. I would not buy another Pop! ‘til 6 months later and that is when I said, "who makes these Pops! Anyway?!"

Is there anything you'd like to add?
You forgot to ask me if I was available for Fundays next year! Just kidding Unfortunately, I will be out of the country during San Diego Comic-Con next year but I am making it my mission to be there for Fundays 2021! It will be my first time attending if I am lucky enough to get tickets! I think I am well past due to make that pilgrimage.

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